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A 25-year-old Florida man has been sentenced to 18 months in prison for stealing more than $20 million worth of crypto as part of a SIM swapping scheme.
according to a Press release From the US Department of Justice, the man participated in a scheme that linked one victim’s SIM card to another. The technique, known as “SIM swapping”, allowed hackers to gain unauthorized access to a crypto wallet owned by the victim, which was linked to a phone number controlled by scheme participants.
In this case, the victim’s crypto wallet contained $20 million worth of crypto currency.
After gaining access to the wallet, the now-sentenced Florida man was contacted by one of the scheme’s participants, who added him to an online call with several others. During the call, the Florida man learned about the SIM swap scheme and agreed to receive the cryptocurrency taken from the victim’s wallet.
The stolen cryptocurrency was then converted into bitcoin (btc) and shared with other plan participants. In total, $20 million worth of cryptocurrency was stolen from the victims.
18 months in jail
The convicted person has been identified as Nicholas Truglia of Florida. He was ordered by US District Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein carried out the sentence.
In addition to the 18-month prison sentence, Truglia was ordered to pay $20,379,007 to the victim within 60 days.
“Nicholas Truglia and his associates stole a staggering amount of cryptocurrency from a victim through a complex SIM swap scheme. Nevertheless, today’s sentencing shows that no matter how sophisticated the crime, this office will will continue to successfully prosecute those who choose to deceive others,” US Attorney Damian Williams said in a comment.
Crypto scams are on the rise on YouTube
news of sentencing comes as a new report good Blockchain security firm Certik has revealed that scams on YouTube – specifically ads from so-called front-running bots – have seen a 500% increase in 2022.
In crypto, front-running is the process of using inside knowledge of an unconfirmed blockchain transaction to trade on a decentralized exchange (dex) before the original transaction is processed.
On many blockchains, this can be done by accessing the mempool to view pending transactions, including unconfirmed transactions. The user or bot then trades with higher transaction fees to ensure that it is processed first, and is able to profit later by flipping the position on the same DEX.
Visualization of how front-running using bogus numbers works:
According to Certik, YouTube videos that pretend to offer front-running bots but direct viewers to sites that scam them are on the rise. To avoid falling prey to this, Certik advises users to never run code that they do not fully understand.
“It only takes one line of code to turn an innocent contract into a malicious one,” the firm wrote before adding at the end.
“The golden rule of scams applies here: If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.”